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Children of Blood and Bone Scene Analysis

Recall the Beginning Hook, Middle Build, and Ending Payoff sentences of Children of Blood and Bone:

  • Zélie and her brother go to sell a fish to save them from the raising taxes but get caught up in a journey to bring magic back by the daughter of a tyrannical king and must leave everything they know to succeed. 
  • Zélie, her brother, and Amari fight against Prince Inan on their journey to bring back magic, but Zélie gets caught by the King and tortured. 
  • After Amari embraces her gifts and saves Zélie from the King, Zélie and Inan each must make choices about whether or not it’s right to bring back magic given its destructive abilities. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the scenes to see how they play out. 

Once more, be warned. Spoilers Ahead. 

Beginning Hook:

  • Inciting Incident. Zélie: The taxes on divîners has been raised and Zélie’s father doesn’t have the money to pay for it. Since Zélie left him alone and he accidentally ruined their boat, she feels responsible to make up for her mistake by selling a precious fish in Lagos. 
  • Amari: Her father kills her oldest friend, Binta, so she steals the scroll and runs away. 
  • Inan: Somehow magic is awoken within him, and he sets out to kill the girl he thinks is responsible. 
  • Complication. With their village destroyed, Zélie, Tzain, and Amari set out to bring magic back. Inan is sent after them. 
  • Crisis. Should Zélie let Lekan awaken her magic by connecting her once more to the Sky Mother? If she does, she’ll be solely responsible for bringing magic back to her people, but if she doesn’t, magic might never return. 
  • Climax. She allows him to, only by promising that he’ll awaken others after her. 
  • Resolution. Inan catches up with them and kills Lekan. Amari, Tzain, and Zélie get away. 

Middle Build:

  • Inciting Incident. Zélie, Tzain, and Amari get the sunstone by competing in a deadly competition and winning by using magic.
  • Inan: Accidentally kills Kaea by trying to suppress his magic. 
  • Complication. Inan catches up to them. Amari and Tzain are taken.  
  • Crisis. Should Zélie trust Inan and let him help her find her brother and Amari?
  • Climax. She trusts him. The divîners in the camp welcome them. 
  • Resolution. Tzain sees Zélie trusting Inan and refuses to stick around to watch her choices end her. He leaves and guards attack the camp. The King himself tortures Zélie. 

Ending Payoff:

  • Inciting Incident. Amari and Tzain enlist the help of other divîners and rescue Zélie from the King. Together, they recruit more help and get a boat and crew to get them to the island in time for the ceremony to bring back magic. 
  • Complication. Inan uses Zélie’s father as leverage to get her to give up bringing magic back. 
  • Crisis. Zélie: Should she admit she lost her magic or fight and risk losing her father?
  • Climax. Zélie: Gives up in order to save her father. 
  • Complication. The King kills her father anyway and reawakens Zélie’s magic. 
  • Crisis. Inan: How can he destroy the scroll? Should he risk using his magic in front of the king?
  • Climax. Inan: He uses his magic to get Zélie to use her magic to destroy the scroll. 
  • Resolution. The King kills Inan once he discovers he is a maji, Amari kills the King, and magic awakens in everyone. 

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